Bermuda Grass, too late to kill it?

vuwugarden(Central TX 8b)November 15, 2010

Is it too late to kill Bermuda grass now?

I don't know when it goes dormant, but I'd like to put in a few garden beds this Fall for Spring planting.

I'd appreciate your inputs guys!



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Killing it is next to impossible! Removing it.....MAYBE with a front loader.

    Bookmark   November 15, 2010 at 3:09PM
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vuwugarden(Central TX 8b)

Heehee, thanks for the laugh, Jerrytx. :)

I tried a small area with RoundUp this summer, and it worked really well, so far I guess.

I'm seeking clarification on the use of RoundUp or grass killer as the weather gets cooler.

Will RoundUp still work in the Fall?

    Bookmark   November 15, 2010 at 3:30PM
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RoundUp works best when temps are over 90 and the leaves you put it on are actively working, regardless of what it is. I don't know if it will work in cooler temps.

Carla near Austin

    Bookmark   November 16, 2010 at 9:46AM
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vuwugarden(Central TX 8b)

Thanks, Carla. I guess I need to postpone the project until next season. Better to do it right the first time...

    Bookmark   November 16, 2010 at 10:07AM
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Hand pulling is probably the best thing in fall. I just don't trust using roundup on anything I plan to plant near/over, as it is unpredictable as to how it will react to your plants. I have used it full strength to kill bamboo!

    Bookmark   November 16, 2010 at 1:02PM
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roselee z8b S.W. Texas

If it were me I'd go ahead and use Roundup on the grass I want to eliminate and then cover the area with a thick layer of newspapers, or pasteboard, or even roofing paper. Then cover that with as many leaves as you can find like Kathy, the Plantmavin did to prepare her beds when she moved to a new location. Pile the leaves on thick and wet them down to keep them from blowing away and to help get the composting going. That way the grass will be smothered as well as poisoned and the beds will be ready to go by spring.

This is called the 'lasagna method' although I don't think this method requires the use of a Roundup like product.

Kathy has posted pictures of how she did it. If she doesn't see this and post them again I'll do a search and see if I can find them.

This way the grass will be good and dead, earthworms will be working the soil all winter, most of the leaves and much of the paper material will have composted enriching the soil, and the bed will be ready to accept plants in the spring. You punch holes in whatever paper is left to do the planting.

Here's info on the lasagna method:

You can copy and paste the link above or just google 'lasagna method'.

Wishing you the best with your project!

Here is a link that might be useful: How to use Roundup including best temps ...

    Bookmark   November 16, 2010 at 3:48PM
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vuwugarden(Central TX 8b)

Thanks, Jerry. Pulling and removing with a sod cutter may be my best option right now. Are you up for any garden work? just kidding

Roselee, thanks for the lasagna info. I'll read up on that method. I'm soooo excited to expand, that I need the grass dead NOW!

Thanks everyone for your replies!

    Bookmark   November 16, 2010 at 5:28PM
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Lynn Marie

I agree with your assessment that a sod cutter is the way to go. Round up won't work now. If you have hard clay and lasagna on top of that, the roots of your new plants will have a hard time digging into the clay. Use a sod cutter twice in the same spot, then put in a border, then add good soil and compost. That's what I plan to do for my next bed anyway.

    Bookmark   November 17, 2010 at 1:16PM
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plantmaven(8b/9a TX)

Before, Feb. 08

After, Sept. 08

I used cheap roofing paper and deep mulch.

    Bookmark   November 18, 2010 at 1:50PM
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roselee z8b S.W. Texas

Kathy, thanks for posting the pictures. They always inspire me! I'm always for doing it the easy way whenever possible. I know sometimes it is not possible so we use whatever method that works for us at the time.

By the way, the article linked above on using Roundup says:

"The best temperature to apply Roundup is between 60 degrees and 85 degrees."

    Bookmark   November 18, 2010 at 2:12PM
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vuwugarden(Central TX 8b)

Thanks, lynnmarie, kathy, and roselee.

Lynn, unfortunately Home Depot charges a sod cutter for $75/day, which seems alot for just one bed. I better think of more places to use the cutter to maximize the rental. More beds are always good :)

Goodness, Kathy, that must have been a lot of work placing those roofing tiles, one by one, or was it a sheet of roofing tiles. It was all worth it because the end result is awesome! I wonder if this will work with Bermuda grass???? It must be cheaper than renting a sod cutter.

Wish me luck everyone...

    Bookmark   November 18, 2010 at 4:22PM
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Lynn Marie

Not roofing tiles!!! Roofing paper!

    Bookmark   November 18, 2010 at 4:54PM
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carrie751(z7/8 TX)

It will definitely work better than a sod cutter.......One little root left behind (and it is impossible to get them all), and you have a fresh start of Bermuda. It is very difficult to rid one's self of it.

    Bookmark   November 18, 2010 at 6:10PM
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Round-Up (glyphosate) will definitely work if used properly, but it is likely too cool now. The grass needs to be actively growing. IMHO you'd be better off waiting until all of that bermudagrass greened up in the spring, then used the glyphosate. A little patience may pay you back with MUCH less pulling in the future. You MUST kill the BG to the roots. If you don't kill it completely, you WILL see it again.

Can't argue PM's success as documented in pictures above. Is that St. Augustine in between the beds? Did you start with St. Augustine?


    Bookmark   November 18, 2010 at 6:22PM
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Bermuda will require multiple treatments of RU to effectively control it. Using more R/U or for that matter any other herbicide above the label rate actually makes the herbicide less effective. "Burn down" may occur where the vegetation is so severely damaged so quickly that the product is not translocated to the roots.

A sod cutter is a great way to increase the density of your Bermuda turf when it grows back and insure that you are removing as much of your precious topsoil and organic matter as is physically possible. A sod cutter, unless it is set very deeply (which makes the rolls extremely heavy) simply root prunes the Bermuda. Where there may have been one plant before ten new individual plants may return.

One of the best herbicides to use is a product containing fusilade. It is a selective grassy herbicide and is considered an 'over the top' spray safe for use in the landscape to control several types of grass. The problem it is slow-takes about two weeks to see visible results.

R/U very quickly becomes inactivated once it hits soil. I would recommend, a treatment with R/U, till in two weeks, wait two weeks until it shows regrowth and respray and then wait another two weeks to see if it reappears before actually planting. This way not only are your preserving the existing OM in your soil but adding to it with the Bermuda residue.

Also, include a sticker in your spray mix. It basically increases the effectiveness of any herbicide by at least 50%.

    Bookmark   November 18, 2010 at 8:09PM
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plantmaven(8b/9a TX)

JD, yes, that is St. Augustine between the beds.`But some areas had bermuda also. The yard was 90% grass. The only beds were the two in the front of pic # 1
On the left where there is mulch, there was a huge AZ ash tree. The man that cut it down did cross hatching (with the chain saw) on the trunk and then poured roundup over the trunk/stump.

It took 7 mos. to accomplish the front yard.

Just make sure you cover every blade of grass with the roofing paper. Then cover the paper with soil, compost, mulch etc.
Audrey, since it is black, it blocks out the sun.


    Bookmark   November 18, 2010 at 10:42PM
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